I have been trying to get back to an old goal of having some salad on the table for every meal. After I do my big weekly shopping, this is pretty easy. But, as the week wears on, the greens wilt and my salads start to taste fatigued. For awhile I began shopping a couple times a week to have fresh greens, but then my grocery bill seemed to double--and just for salad (and a couple other things I needed to pick up).
So, the other night I tried to come up with a salad made from stuff that hadn't gone sad and I often stand a chance of having on hand throughout the week. The result sort of reminds me of the old Waldorf Salad, but it is a bit lighter and Springier. This salad also fits with my resolution to try not and make things so complicated. And I am avoiding the whole weights and measures issue that seems to plague me by using vegetable units (such as 1 stalk) or amounts that might feel good to your own hand (or mouth!)
Anyway, I present to you Celery Salad.
- Celery stalks (1 per person)
- Walnuts (1 tiny handful for 1 person, a large handful for 4 or thereabouts)
- Green Onion (1 or so per person)
- Grapefruit (about 1/4 per person)
- Olive oil
- Start by putting a heavy pan on low heat and putting a handful of walnuts in.
- While they are toasting, slice the celery very thinly by cutting diagonally across it into ribbon-like shreds. Pull out the annoying stringy bits. If you have the heart, (the celery heart) chop it up too. Spread the celery on a plate.
- Chop up the onion and scatter atop.
- With a spoon, scoop out grapefruit segments and arrange on top.
- Now, remove the walnuts from the heat and break them over the top of the salad with your hands while removing some of the crisp, dark skin that hides in the nut crevices.
- Liberally, drizzle some olive oil on top, then pour juice left in the grapefruit over it. A pinch of salt an a few grinds of pepper finish it off.
I'm often the best cook when I am enjoying the whole tactile experience and trying to make the food fit with how I want it to feel in my mouth. When I have to stop and take measurements, that process feels interrupted. But I am wondering: Do you find this kind of recipe liberating--or frustratingly vague in its lack of standardized measures?